Hagiography and the History of Latin Christendom, 500-1500 shows the scholarly value of texts celebrating saints—both the most abundant medieval source material and among the most difficult to use. Hagiographical sources present many challenges: they are usually anonymous, often hard to date, full of topoi, and unstable. Moreover, they are generally not what we would consider as factually accurate. The volume’s twenty-one contributions draw on a range of disciplines and employ a variety of innovative methods to address these challenges and reach new discoveries about the medieval world that extend well beyond the study of sanctity. They show the rich potential of hagiography to enhance our knowledge of that world, and some of the ways to unlock it.
Contributors are Ellen Arnold, Helen Birkett, Edina Bozoky, Emma Campbell, Adrian Cornell du Houx, David Defries, Albrecht Diem, Cynthia Hahn, Samantha Kahn Herrick, J.K. Kitchen, Jamie Kreiner, Klaus Krönert, Mathew Kuefler, Katherine J. Lewis, Giovanni Paolo Maggioni, Charles Mériaux, Paul Oldfield, Sara Ritchey, Catherine Saucier, Laura Ackerman Smoller, and Ineke van ‘t Spijker.
Samantha Kahn Herrick, Ph.D. (2002), Harvard University, is Associate Professor of History at Syracuse University. She has published widely on medieval hagiography, including
Imagining the Sacred Past: Hagiography and Power in Early Normandy (Harvard, 2007).
Medievalists and others interested in knowing what hagiographical sources may be used to investigate and how to overcome the challenges they pose.